20+ Fall Weekend Family Getaways Near NYC
Fall in the Northeast is a lovely time of year for a family getaway. The crisp air, fall colors, and outdoor activities are hard to resist for most kids (and grown-ups). While New Yorkers can experience some magic in our city's gorgeous parks, which can feel almost like a countryside retreat during a foliage walk, there's nothing like a weekend away to recharge fully. If you stayed close to home during the summer travel season, you're probably itching for a fall weekend getaway to immerse your family in seasonal fun.
We've rounded up more than 20 options, whether you're looking for a quick car-free getaway or you've got a long weekend and want to travel a bit further. Find more ideas for fall travel day trips and getaways in our Family Travel Guide.
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Fall Getaways in New York State
1. The Roxbury – Roxbury, New York
The Catskill Mountains offer outdoor fall options like biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and zip-lining, with phenomenal leaf-peeping to sweeten the deal. The Roxbury, a funky boutique motel where each room boasts a whimsical thematic design, is a far cry from the traditional, rustic Catskills mountain resort. There are 19 rooms, many with double beds or sofa beds, and nine spacious suites. The attention to detail will knock your socks off. Book "Genie's Bottle," inspired by the television show I Dream of Jeannie, and enjoy the spherical bathroom with its Japanese soaking tub. If you like red velvet, Miss Kitty's Saloon is for you. For the Trekkie that lurks in you, The Final Frontier is a nod to Star Trek.
The historic town of Roxbury is fun to walk or take in the foliage on a train ride with the Delaware and Ulster Railroad, which departs from a historic depot in Roxbury. Mini day trips from the area include Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame, an hour away.
2. Think Big! A Tiny House Resort – South Cairo, New York
New Yorkers are used to small-space living, but you've never seen anything like this tiny house resort. There are 15 tiny houses on-site, each sleeping 2-7 people. Each home has a flush toilet (no small feat in the tiny house world!) and a working kitchen, plus an outdoor porch with a gas grill and fire pit. Patrons are welcome to visit the flock of chickens to collect eggs for breakfast or harvest fresh veggies from the garden. More farm fun includes goats, bunnies, and ducks to interact with and enjoy. Looking for other entertainment? Hop in the heated pool, go for a hike, or borrow a kayak to paddle your way along the streams. Nearby, you'll find plenty of forestlands to explore, and if the snow flies early, you're not too far from some of the region's best skiing.
There's lots of love from the animals at the Pine Ridge Dude Ranch. Photo courtesy of the Pine Ridge Dude Ranch
3. Pine Ridge Dude Ranch – Kerhonkson, New York
Editor's note: Pine Ridge Dude Ranch will shutter following Memorial Day weekend 2022.
Just 90 miles from New York City, Pine Ridge Dude Ranch offers an off-the-beaten-path experience with all-inclusive convenience. You'll see fall foliage from a unique viewpoint here: On horseback, as a trail ride is included in stays for all visitors ages 9+. Younger buckaroos can enjoy pony rides daily. If equines aren't your thing, consider all the ranch's other activities, from fishing to rock-wall climbing, swimming, a petting zoo, and more. Big-time off-season discounts mean kids can stay for half-price, or even FREE, many weekends in fall. Despite the low price, the activities don't take a break. There are special harvest weekends, a line-dancing weekend, Halloween activities, and more.
4. Legoland – Goshen, New York
Situated about 60 miles outside New York City in Goshen, the 150-acre park is the biggest Legoland yet. Geared toward ages 2-12, visitors can explore seven themed "lands" featuring more than 50 rides, attractions, and shows—including a brand-new ride exclusive to the New York location. Legoland New York Resort's attractions include Lego Ninjago World, Lego Castle, Bricktopia, and Lego City. You'll be able to soar around the kingdom on the Dragon coaster, go for a spin at Lego City's Driving School, shoot water cannons at pirates, hop aboard the Duplo Express, master the art of Spinjitsu at Ninja Training Camp, and lots more. After a day of theme park fun, you can stay in one of the 250 rooms at the Legoland Hotel, each with a separate kid's sleeping area and cool Lego themes like Lego Pirates, Kingdom, Ninjago, and even Lego Friends. Aside from being within steps of the theme park, perks include free breakfast daily, in-room scavenger hunts, plenty of bricks to build with, and more family-friendly entertainment.
Enjoy an Adirondacks hideout at Elk Lake. Photo by Michael Martineau courtesy of Elk Lake Lodge
5. Elk Lake Lodge — North Hudson, New York
If you're seeking a digital detox, Elk Lake Lodge should be on your radar. This family-owned property is immersed in a 12,000-acre forest high in the Adirondacks. The lodge offers six small rooms and eight individual cabins of varying sizes. It presents a timeless retreat and opportunity to commune with nature with no televisions or cell phones to distract. Many activities revolve around pristine Elk Lake with its 30 scattered islands and many coves and inlets to explore. Grab a kayak or canoe, jump in for a late-season swim, or fish for speckled trout. There are scores of hiking trails fringed with a rainbow assortment of leaves. Low-key activities include listening to the call of the loons, watching the leaves change colors next to the sparkling water, catching frogs, and helping to ring the dinner bell. Rates include a hearty breakfast and dinner, plus a packed lunch. Local ingredients are featured, and the fresh tastes should appeal to kids. Meals are served in the lodge overlooking Elk Lake, so you’ll dine with a view. Open seasonally through mid-October.
6. Mohonk Mountain House – New Paltz, New York
This Victorian-style castle is an old-world resort with charming accommodations and stunning grounds year-round, especially during the fall, where foliage is at its best. Cozy guest rooms include fireplaces or rocking-chair balconies but no televisions, so it's easy to unplug. There's a kids club, myriad indoor and outdoor activities, an award-winning spa, and loads of entertainment options. The heated, indoor pool is a big draw for families. The striking resort overlooks Lake Mohonk and the Shawangunk Mountains and is loaded with old-fashioned charm. Parlors and porches, fireplaces, and libraries abound in this National Historic Landmark. Three meals a day are included. Prepare to feast with bountiful buffet tables, chef's stations, small plates, and a children's station marked by balloons. A stay here is not particularly budget-friendly, though keep an eye on its specials, including deals for kids to stay and eat free.
Montauk is a beautiful fall destination and the crowds of summer are much lighter.
7. Gurney's Resort – Montauk, New York
Montauk on Long Island's East End is a perfect spot to enjoy the sand and water, even in the fall. You'll also get the added benefit of fewer crowds. Stay at the elegant Gurney's, the only four-season beachfront resort in the Hamptons. There are various rooms, suites, bungalows, and cottages to choose from, some with dramatic ocean views. Climb the Montauk Point Lighthouse, charter a boat, ride bikes, eat fresh seafood, or take a hike through one of Montauk's state parks. No car, no problem: Montauk is accessible via the LIRR.
8. Whiteface Lodge – Lake Placid, New York
Fall is a great time to explore the beauty of Lake Placid, nestled in the Adirondack Mountains. Stay at the rustic Whiteface Lodge, which is great for families with a wide range of rooms and suites, many outfitted with common areas and kitchens. Whiteface Lodge offers many activities, including swimming, tennis, skating, hiking, games, and canoeing. You can also relax at its award-winning spa. Explore the town of Lake Placid, where the Olympic Museum is located, and Adirondack Park, the largest protected area on the U.S. mainland.
Build a fairy door and explore the Fairy Forest at The Emerson Reosrt and Spa. Photo courtesy of the resort
9. The Emerson Resort & Spa – Mount Tremper
Whether you opt for a room in the contemporarily styled Inn or stay in the log cabin-inspired Lodge, a trip to The Emerson is sure to please. Situated on 20 beautiful acres, the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley are at your doorstep. Located on the grounds you'll find the World's Largest Kaleidoscope, sure to delight curious kids. Outdoor enthusiasts can embark on a self-guided bird walk along the Asokan Rail Trail, enjoy a guided walk along the grounds to learn more about the region's history and wild inhabitants, and close out the day with s'mores at a community bonfire. Kids will delight in exploring the Emerson Fairy Woods and making their own fairy door to add to the collection. Find more attractions and special events on The Emerson website.
Fall Weekend Destinations in Pennsylvania
10. Hotel Darby – Beach Lake
To label this a new-to-the-scene hotel a Pennsylvania getaway feels a bit like a misnomer. While Hotel Darby is located on the banks of the Delaware in Pennsylvania, it's just across the river from the quaint Narrowsburg, New York. Hotel Darby's well-appointed, mid-century modern rooms provide a great jumping-off point for recreation along the river and beyond. Hiking trails abound; you can enjoy bird-watching in the meadows on the 17-acre property or start a family tournament at the cornhole boards. Hit the water in a rented kayak or canoe, or drop a line and try your hand at catching dinner. Narrowsburg's bustling main street beckons just a three-minute walk down the road.
Bucks County, Pennsylvania, offers stunning fall foliage and plenty of history to explore. Photo by Reflections by Ruth/courtesy of Visit Bucks County
11. Black Bass Hotel – Lumberville, Pennsylvania
This hotel offers a selection of eight spacious suites and has some killer deals through the end of the year. History buffs can appreciate a visit here for many reasons. The hotel dates back to the 1740s and overlooks the Delaware River, sitting just 14 miles upstream from the spot of George Washington's famed crossing. President Grover Cleveland was a frequent guest and has a suite named in his honor. Renovated about 10 years ago, care was taken to preserve the hotel's history while providing modern creature comforts. Bucks County is home to plenty of family-friendly destinations, including the preschool-friendly Sesame Place, open weekends in the fall. For less commercial seasonal fun, consider booking a ride on the New Hope Railroad. You'll board a restored early-1900s train and enjoy a narrated ride through the countryside. If you prefer to seek scenery on your own, embark on a tour of the region's covered bridges. Save time to stop by Peddler's Village, where you can shop at more than 65 unique stores, grab snacks, and gape at its Scarecrow Village or participate in a scarecrow-making workshop.
Skytop Lodge in the Poconos is full of fun, family-friendly fall activities. Photo courtesy of the lodge
12. Skytop Lodge – Poconos, Pennsylvania
The picturesque Poconos are chock-full of family fun. Whether it's warm or cold out, there's plenty to keep the kids busy. At the Skytop Lodge, choose from a room in the historic lodge or a cabin nearby, and take your pick of delicious dining options throughout your stay. Downstairs, there's a game room with pingpong, mini golf, and arcade games for kids and adults alike. In the fall, enjoy nature walks, lawn games, and boating. Older kids (10 and up) can take advantage of the year-round TreeTop Adventure Course. The hotel offers swimming in any weather—there's an indoor pool if it's cold, and an outdoor pool if you come in warmer weather.
13. Camelback Resort – Tannersville
You may think of Camelback as wintertime destination thanks to its ski resort or a summertime hotspot because of its outdoor waterpark, but we recently revisited and are happy to report, there's plenty of all-seasons fun to be had at this Poconos resort. We love its variety of hotel rooms, suites, restaurants, plus activities indoors and out. In addition to the all-seasons indoor water park (included in your stay!), there's always something going on in the lobby—and bonus—it's usually FREE.
For a quick New England getaway, consider a stay in Southport, Connecticut's Delamar. Photo by Julie Bidwell for the hotel
Fall Getaways in Connecticut
14. Delamar – Southport, Connecticut
Southport is the sort of all-American town that brings to mind parades and ice cream cones. The cobblestone streets are lined with stately homes and charming shops, giving it a Norman Rockwell feel. It's located on a swath of Connecticut shoreline around 90 minutes from Manhattan. The Long Island Sound's water usually stays warm enough for a dip into early October, and the coastal influence means leaves change a bit later in the season than they do inland. The Delamar Southport is just minutes from the beach. It offers 44 rooms loaded with luxuries. A complimentary grab-and-go breakfast is one of its perfect perks. The on-site Artisan Restaurant, Tavern & Garden features New England-inspired farm-to-table dining. The spa is top-notch, so try to sneak in a treatment. It's pet-friendly, too. The hotel is just a short distance from the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk and the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport.
15. The Whaler's Inn – Mystic, Connecticut
You don't have to go far from NYC to experience classic New England vibes. The Whaler's Inn offers history and scenery in equal amounts in Mystic, Connecticut. Mystic is just a few hours by car from NYC and offers all the seaside views you crave. Get your timed-entry tickets for the not-to-be-missed Mystic Aquarium in advance. It has everything from seals to sea urchins and even an exhibit on dinosaurs! Continue your seaside-themed weekend with a snack at the Sea View Snack Bar, which offers low-key eats in a family-friendly environment. Take the family on a cruise by sailboat, motorboat, or steamboat, and wrap up the weekend with a visit to the Mystic Seaport Museum. This re-created 19th-century fishing village lets kids explore a variety of maritime trades. Want more ideas for your weekend getaway? We've got them here.
RELATED: Northeast Family Travel Guide
The Inn by the Sea lives up to its name with stunning ocean views. Photo courtesy of the resort
Far-Flung Destinations for a Long Fall Weekend Getaway
16. Inn by the Sea – Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Coastal Maine is peaceful in the fall, so if you're considering a long weekend getaway that combines the best of town and country, add the Inn by the Sea to your list. This Cape Elizabeth hotel looks like a peaceful painting, yet it's only a 15-minute drive from the hipster haven of Portland, which is brimming with top restaurants, shops, and family activities, including a children's museum. The hotel's location on Crescent Beach provides a private boardwalk that leads through a wildlife sanctuary to a mile of unspoiled sand where kids can build sandcastles and might even glimpse a seal or two. The view is enchanting in fall, with subtle touches of color blending with the seascape. The 61 contemporary rooms include spacious one- and two-bedroom suites and traditional rooms with fireplaces. Suites have fully equipped kitchens and sofa beds.
The inn offers family-friendly programming like family yoga and children's art classes. Visit the historic Portland Head Light, the oldest lighthouse in Maine, surrounded by space for kids to run and explore. The Inn's Sea Glass restaurant offers a dining experience with an eco-emphasis on serving underutilized, yet delectable, Gulf of Maine seafood. If your children don't care for fish, there's a standard kids' menu. The inn is also one of the most pet-friendly hotels anywhere, so bring the pooch for some canine pampering.
17. Woodstock Inn – Woodstock, Vermont
Vermont is loaded with charming villages and covered bridges, but even in a state chock-full of quaint, Woodstock stands tall. Nestled in majestic mountains, it's a top spot to view the fall foliage, which greets you around every bend. The Woodstock Inn is the essence of New England hospitality and a great jumping-off point for family fun in the area. The 142 spacious rooms and common areas are loaded with cozy touches. Complimentary bikes, large indoor and outdoor pools, and hiking trails provide hours of fun. Kelly Way Gardens, the resort's on-site garden, provides a holistic food supply to the resort's restaurants.
Don't miss a visit to the Billings Farm & Museum. It's a fully operational dairy farm where you can get up close with the cows. Educational programming is excellent, and hotel guests enjoy free visits. F.H. Gillingham & Sons is Woodstock's general store, owned and operated by the same family since 1866. It sells an eclectic range of goods, many produced locally, but quality is the unifying factor. Kids also enjoy a trip to VINS Nature Center, a rehabilitation center for birds of prey, many of which are on display, that offers educational activities and even shows for kids, plus nature trails. On your way, stop to gawk at the majestic Quechee Gorge, which is sure to stun the whole family into silence (for a moment or two).
18. The Hotel Northampton – Northampton, Massachusetts
Hampshire County in Massachusetts is a blend of artsy villages, progressive college towns, and agricultural landscapes. Northampton is home to Smith College, where the garden-filled campus is great for a stroll, and a visit to the Smith College Museum of Art is worthwhile. The small art collection is impressive, but just as memorable are the museum's decorative public bathrooms. Even if nature doesn't call, don't miss these bold, creative, functional works of art. The historic Hotel Northampton offers 106 guestrooms, gracious public spaces, and friendly service, all within walking distance from everything. Rent bikes at Northampton Bicycle and cycle the flat, 11-mile, car-free Norwottuck Rail Trail to Amherst. It's fringed with a canopy of colorful fall leaves and is just right for most school-aged kids to handle at least a section. The trail offers many snack options along the way, including luscious ice cream at Maple Valley Milk Company and Farm Store.
19. Hotel Rehoboth – Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
Nothing beats a beach town in the fall. The crowds are gone, but the water is still warm. Hotel Rehoboth, a newish upscale hotel close to the boardwalk, is a sleepy charmer during the off-season, where a family can feel indulgent without breaking the bank. Delaware's Rehoboth Beach is the perfect spot for some late-season beach time, with tons of other activities to keep the family occupied...like a kid-friendly brewery! Check out the Crooked Hammock for a brew, some fantastic food, and a playground in the back where big kids can happily entertain themselves. There's also Dogfish Head, the iconic Rehoboth brewery that is kid-friendly and has tons of great beer and food to sample. Stop by Funland, a kid-friendly destination that lives up to its name, with 19 different rides sure to thrill even the amusement park skeptic. We've got plenty more picks for family-friendly fun in the region, too.
Glamp in the White Mountains of New Hampshire for the full fall effect. Photo courtesy of Huttopia Camping
20. Huttopia Camping – Albany, New Hampshire
Camp without sacrificing comfort in the White Mountains when you stay in glamping-style tents loaded with homey amenities. Huttopia, open seasonally until mid-October, is ideal if you want a low-stress camping experience. It provides kitchen supplies, bedding, and more. The Trapper's Tent sleeps up to five on real mattresses and includes a bathroom. Book the Chalet, and you'll stay in a two-bedroom wooden cabin that sleeps up to six and includes a kitchen and bath. Fish in the lake or take a nature hike. There are low-key organized activities for kids in summer, and a few sporadic ones continue into the fall. If you crave the 21st century, head to North Conway, just 10 miles away. We've got tons of family-friendly picks nearby in our roundup of 25 things to do in the White Mountains.
21. Smugglers' Notch Resort – Stowe, Vermont
While popular for skiing, Smugglers' Notch Resort is also an ideal vacation spot in the fall with so many outdoor adventures and special activities. The full-service resort publishes a guide, nearly 50 pages thick, chock full of things to do each season. Offerings include yoga, magic shows, sports, swimming, guided excursions of every ilk, and family movie screenings. Kids love to visit the Fun Zone, a kids' activity center with games, bouncy castles, and other amusements. There's also a similar space for teens. Also popular is the three-hour ArborTrek Zip Line Canopy Tour. If you've got spare time, the town of Stowe, also known as "Aspen of the East," is close by and offers a ton of activities, sights, and places to visit.
A version of this story was published in 2017; it has since been updated. Louise Finnell and Jody Mercier contributed additional reporting.